Thursday, May 26, 2011

"Race Card" Rod at it again

The one thing great about the recent turmoil in the Buffalo Public schools is the fact it's forcing people to think about the real roots of the district's problems. Is it the school system or is it the people comprising the school system? Buffalo News columnist Rod Watson's article in today's paper was an insult to every teacher, student, and taxpayer in the city, both white and black.

Watson raises a good point when he talks about the disparities in the ratio of white to black students in the city's three best (arguably) high schools: City Honors, Da Vinci, and Hutch Tech. There's only one problem. Each of these schools chooses their students primarily on an entrance exam. Watson questions whether the entrance exams are (play the race card music) culturally biased. Culturally biased! Here is Watson, doing what he does best, making excuses and playing the race based blame game...

• Did this occur because the top schools use tests and selection criteria that are culturally biased or that give an inside edge to better-educated parents who know best how to navigate the system?

Outrageous. Fortunately, teachers, parents, and taxpayers have had enough of liberal nonsense from the likes of "Race Card" Rod. Guys like Watson want to blame everything on race. The white controlled educational system is keeping the black students down, etc., etc. But how does this explain the Vietnamese, Burmese, Thai, and Somalian refugees who come to Buffalo with little more than the clothes on their backs? They don't even know the language, yet most come to school willing to work and make something out of themselves. In no time, they are speaking English, performing well at school, and graduating. Oh, yea. Most aren't being continuously disruptive in class, either. Look at the suspension rates, Rod.

Instead of blasting grammar school parents, whose children miss 35 days a year, Watson thinks we need to form a focus group for them. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahaha. We need a focus group to tell parents that keeping their kids home 35 days a year is not in their best interest? Is he serious?...

• Why do some parents feel so little sense of efficacy when it comes to education that they don’t make sure their kids attend school, as reflected in the Buffalo Teachers Federation analysis showing alarming absenteeism rates? Who’s going to convene the parental focus group, suggested by union chief Phil Rumore, that could help find out why?

In the past, I've worked in a racially mixed charter school, where students from both races were being accepted at Hutch Tech and Da Vinci. In fact, race was rarely even discussed at this school. The white kids at this school all got along and worked hard in class. The difference? The parents of these students were involved in their kids' education. The students were not allowed to walk around the classrooms while the teacher was trying to teach. They were not permitted to talk over the teacher. Kids with behavior problems were not made the center of attention (which is exactly what they want). The whole day did not become about them. Cell phones were collected and put in a lock box until the end of the day. Homework was expected. There were consequences to misbehavior.

It's 2011. We need to stop making excuses for bad parenting and lazy students. There are so many great students in Buffalo, willing to come to school and make an effort. It has nothing to do with "culturally biased" test scores or the district. The leaders in the black community need to start asking their neighbors why they don't value education or the importance of good parenting. Watson's flimsy excuses are pathetic and quite frankly, I'm embarrassed for him.

Two-tiered district cries out for reform


1 comment:

  1. First off the board of regents is the problem and the schools that have entrance exams offer a specialized program. Instead of complaining about the high schools we need to start looking into were the resources are doing in the city. There is only one gifted program in the city and it's one of the most afluent neighborhoods. Most of the special education services are offered in the ghetto. We have populations of students that are both gifted and have special education needs combined that are getting the proper services. And the young black parents are clueless because they themselves are products of the public school system that failed them.
    Why isn't their a gifted program in south buffalo? Why isn't there more special education classes offered in south Buffalo? Why do kids from south buffalo of both races getting shipped off to the makowski center for a speech class and why are gifted kids being stripped out of our neighborhood and sent to the olmstead school? Why isn't the school on Buffum used to hold a program at all? Why are kids with behavioral issues and involved parents sent in programs with the kids who are product of their enviroments and the schools are on the east and west side? Why is there only a small autism program in Buffalo that parents have to basically pull strings to get their children into?
    I could go on and on.. The school on Buffum should host a program for children who are different learners and have involved parents.